We finally got some of that rainy weather London is known for as we departed England's capital, on our way to the birthplace of the greatest playwright of all time - but first, a couple of historic stops along the way.
We began our journey back in the 15th century with a visit to Hampton Court Palace & Garden - 150 acres along the River Thames, whose most well-known resident was Henry VIII.
Our next stop goes back in time even further - to Oxford, the oldest University in the English speaking world, dating back to 1096! The University is made up of 38 colleges; famous Oxonians include 26 British Prime Ministers,at least 30 international leaders, 50 Nobel Prize winners, and 120 Olympic medal winners! We toured, we shopped, and ate meat pies for lunch before heading to our final destination today.
Minutes before arriving at the home of William Shakespeare, we made a quick stop at the childhood home of his future wife, Ann Hathaway. The charming cottage is a thatched farmhouse with picturesque gardens right out of a storybook!
We easily spent the most time at our final stop, Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford Upon Avon, a lovely town, brimming with history! Shakespeare's parents, John and Mary, were wealthy enough to own the largest house on Henley Street. They had 8 children here - the home also doubled as a workshop for Shakespeare's father's glove making business.
When John Shakespeare died, William inherited the house. When Shakespeare died in 1616, he left the house to his eldest daughter Susanna. It is now owned by the Birthplace Trust to share with visitors from all over the world!
What better place to enjoy a performance of the Bard's work?!
I don't think we could have added anything more to this day if we tried - except for dinner! What are the chances we'd dine with another mother/daughter travel duo - from southeastern Wisconsin no less! Must be that "Midwestern Friendly" that drew us to Kathy and her mom Dorita, half way around the world!
The adventure continues tomorrow, as we travel west into Wales!